This past week I had my visit with my Rheumy. She poked and prodded (physically and metaphorically) and she got me thinking.
For starters, I’m thinking that 85% back to ‘normal’ might be good enough if it means that the next couple percent mean that I have to be tied to an IV for the rest of my life. Not every day, I know that, but often enough that I would have to think and plan everything I do to make sure it doesn’t correspond to the time when I would have to get an infusion. And I might never get to the magic remission that is rumored to exist. I might never actually ever get even a couple more percentage points further towards ‘normal’. The questions will have to be weighed going forward.
She asked me a question, though, that kind of struck me as funny. She asked me if there are ever days that go by when I don’t think about having RA.
RA has defined my life for almost two years. There may be days when I feel more normal. There are days when I don’t think that it so incredibly sucks that I have RA. But are there days when I don’t think about having it? Maybe. Not many. It is kind of like the fact that I’m the mom of kids who have epilepsy. Like the fact that I am a writer.
I have an invisible disease. The pain in my hands and feet may only be a dull stiff ache. But there are many people like me who aren’t as lucky. Who hurt a lot worse, who have a lot more serious deformities. I think of how I can make even the smallest difference (and I really know that if I make any difference at all it in minuscule… I’m starting to be somewhat okay with the fact that I’m really not supposed to make a big difference anywhere) in someone’s life… anyone’s life… then ignoring the fact that I have RA would be irresponsible to me.
Plus, how can I not think about the fact that I have RA. How can I not remember that I have to consciously think about drinking a can of pop or touching the elevator buttons or ordering at a fast food place where they might or might not wear plastic gloves, where they might or might not wash their hands after scratching their whatever… how can I not think about it?